Union Station, Downtown LA

Built in 1939 - before cars and planes became the travel MO of Americans - Union Station in downtown was built to consolidate the stations of three different major rail lines.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Los Angeles
Olvera Street
The street was created in the 1930's to preserve Mexico's heritage in the city, and it continue to serve this purpose nearly a century later.
Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels
Built in under three years from 1999-2002, this modern Cathedral has virtually no right angles and is one of the city's architectural masterpieces.
Grand Park & Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain
This beautiful 12-acre urban park first established in 1966 and renamed in honor of Arthur J. Will, the Chief Administrative Officer for the County of LA.
Los Angeles City Hall
The seat of government for the city and an architectural reference of art deco design.
Angels Flight Railway
This is the world's smallest railway, originally opened in 1901. This narrow-gauge funicular offers a short and fun ride between Grand Avenue and Hill Street.
Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo is a bustling community filled with restaurants, shops, and cultural institutions including the Japanese American National Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. It's also home to several historic landmarks, such as the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple and the Union Center for the Arts.

Related Tours

Downtown LA's History & Architecture: Private Walking Tour
In a city blessed with blissful light, innovation and bold visual design statements, Los Angeles is full of architectural gems that only make sense in the context of the history around which they were built. Discover an ever-evolving urban centre with a unique blend of Art Deco and Beaux-Arts architectural landmarks, modern skyscrapers, and historic landmarks.

On your private walking tour, you will: 

  • Begin your tour at Union Station, known as the last of America's great train stations;
  • Walk to Olvera Street, known as “the birthplace of Los Angeles”, a block-long tree-shaded Mexican marketplace is part of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument;
  • See Avila Adobe, the oldest surviving residence in LA;
  • Admire the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a stunning modernist masterpiece;
  • Wander at the stainless steel design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic;
  • Walk past the U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building in California;
  • Discover Los Angeles Central Library, one of the largest public library systems in the world;
  • See a railway on a steep hillside, opened in 1901 to ferry passengers up and down the steep slope to the top of Bunker Hill and remains one of LA’s most endearing landmarks;
  • Walk down Broadway, a vibrant symbol of LA’s spirit and soul. Its’ stunning signature Mission Modern style combines Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival and Art Deco architecture.
  • See the Biltmore Los Angeles, a historic hotel in LA that has hosted many famous guests throughout the years;
  • Visit The Bradbury Building - where the modest mildly Romanesque exterior hides a magical light-filled Victorian court, open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings,
  • End your tour at the Grand Central Market, which boasts vintage neon signs, glorious 1960s tile work and original Beaux-Arts detailing.

From bold esoteric newcomers like the monumental Broad Museum to landmark favourites such as Bradbury Building built in 1893, Los Angeles is a city rich in iconic architecture - it’s rare to see two buildings alike. 

You will discover sharp, crisp right angles of modernist architecture, the dazzling exoticism of soaring spires and fairytale towers, and grand palatial estates. 

Backdropped by year-round blue skies and golden sunshine, LA’s structures are showcased to perfection in the city’s famous sublime light. This tour will dazzle with the porous alabaster-white shell facade of the Broad Museum, the glinting curves of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the city’s downtown cultural centrepiece, and the old Mexican influences of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and its tree-shaded plazas. 

Pass lush sculptural landscapes on our way to be wowed by the geometric light-filled design of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, José Rafael Moneo’s Pritzker-prize-winning structure. 

This compelling tour - popular with visitors and Angelinos alike - provides the fascinating backstory to the growth of this great city, from its humble origins to the present day, as told through its striking, unique architecture. 
LA's Art Deco & Beaux Art Architecture: Private Walking Tour
Immerse yourself in the largely unknown architectural splendour of downtown Los Angeles, and explore some of the most incredible buildings of geometric patterns, brilliant colours, and luxurious materials that characterised Art Deco and its predecessor, Beaux Art. 

On your private walking tour, you will: 

  • Begin your tour at the Los Angeles City Hall, an iconic building in the city used in the films industry many times due to its eclectic style;
  • Head towards the LA Courthouse, an Art Moderne architecture example;
  • Admire the Bradbury Building, a recognised landmark in LA and one of the oldest surviving Beau-Arts architecture buildings downtown;
  • Walk to Title Guarantee Building from 1930, a former office building now loft-style apartments which showcase the verticality of Art Deco style;
  • Explore Pershing Square where your tour guide will tell you about Art Deco and Beaux Art that precedes that period and show an example of a Beaux-Arts building which is the 1925 Biltmore hotel;
  • Discover the CalEdison building from 1931 on a prominent corner where you might be able to enter to see spectacular types of marble on the floor and columns;
  • See Los Angeles Central Library from 1926, an example of an early Art Deco style saved from demolition in 1978 by Los Angeles Conservatory;
  • Pass by PacMutual original from 1908 that resembles a Greek temple which was remodelled in the 1930s to give it an Art Deco look;
  • Admire the Oviatt Building, with parts built in the Romanesque Revival style and others changed to resemble the Art Deco style after the owner visited the Paris exposition in 1925;
  • See the Fox Jewelry Plaza, originally called the William Fox Building in the jewellery district of Fox Movie Theatre Company from back East.;
  • See the Ninth and Broadway building from 1930, an elegant office building where you might see the lobby;
  • End your tour at the spectacular Eastern Columbia Building with its iconic clock tower and the spectacular greenish terra cotta originally built as a department store, now luxury condominiums one still owned by Johnny Depp.

When one thinks about Los Angeles, images of beaches, Beverly Hills, sunshine, and the glamorous life of the rich and the famous all come to mind, but what about downtown LA? For years, downtown was rarely seen as safe, let alone as a major travel destination. But in recent years, all of that has changed, especially as businesses and developers clean up some of the city’s recognisable highrises, which were largely built in the 1920s and 1930s in spectacular art-deco fashion. 

On your private tour, you will see glimmering marble columns, an art-deco library saved from demolition, Greek temples, and buildings designed to emulate the Paris exposition of 1925. You’ll wander through the jewellery district and see one of LA’s old movie theatre companies, which still evokes the feelings of ‘Old Hollywood’. Your tour will end in Santee Alley, where your guide will take you through a bit of the market before parting with you. 

Your guide will be the best source of food advice for downtown, so be sure not to miss out on all the spots where you can go on a culinary adventure. 


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